AUSTRALIAN singer-songwriter, and former Australian Idol winner Damien Leith simply can’t wait to bring his acclaimed one-man show ‘The Parting Glass’ to Mildura.
Set to take the Mildura Arts Centre stage tomorrow night, ‘The Parting Glass: An Irish Journey’ made its debut at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival where it received a rousing response.
Its subsequent sell-out shows in Sydney and Melbourne also received standing ovations, with the musical play taking place in an Irish pub.
The Parting Glass sees Damien take on the role of both a father and a son as they get to the bottom of a deep secret that has haunted them.
The man himself said the production is filled with humour and emotion, and, as you would expect from any pub setting in Ireland, a live band.
“Every aspect of the The Parting Glass was carefully thought out, including the music selection,” he said. “Having the live band really does give that ‘sitting in a pub having a pint’ atmosphere.
“The music throughout the show is Irish music, and there is a collection of songs that I have just loved for years like ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’, and the band play all the traditional instruments like the fiddle, tin whistle, bodhran – it is a real Irish experience.
“You’ve got the drama side of it and the rousing Irish music.
“Danny Boy – which has become a bit of a standard song now – is used very different in the show. It’s part of a script, and it appears at a real crucial part of the show.”
Damien said The Parting Glass had been a work in progress for some time, providing him with a chance to explore another lifelong passion -– acting.
“I’ve always loved acting since I was a kid, and being a part of a show like this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “The show itself has come together really nicely, with the story and music all combining to create something really special.
“For me personally I’ve been touring continuously for the past 11 years, so it’s nice to freshen things up, and nice for the audience to get to see something different, and see a different side of me as a performer.”
Damien described The Parting Glass as “a very moving piece.”
“It’s certainly taken a while to get it right, and there’s been a lot of trial and error involved,” he said. “We’ve road tested it quite a few times, and you certainly listen to that feedback and take it on.
“While an emotional ride, there’s also a lot of jokes and a lot of good, funny moments.”
Damien shot to fame thanks to the 2006 reality television show Australian Idol. Since then he has enjoyed platinum selling albums and multiple awards including ARIAs, MTV Australia Video Music Awards and Helpmann Awards.
“It’s funny, the biggest difference between touring with an album or doing something like this is how you sell the show,” he said.
“With something like this the biggest difference is that you have to explain it for one thing! When you’re touring an album the audience knows what they’re getting.”
Damien is no stranger to Mildura, having visited the region as part of his 10-year anniversary tour.
“I had such a great time in Mildura, with the turnout for the show absolutely sensational,” he said. “I would certainly love to see a similar turnout for this performance, and can’t wait to come back to the town.”
Tickets are available online at www.milduraartscentre.com.au, or by visiting www.damienleith.com.